According to a March, 2012 article by Consumer Reports, over 65,000 fires happened in homes across the country between 2002-2009 due to appliance misuse or malfunction.
Imagine coming home from the supermarket or a night out at the movies and dinner to find the Fire Department parked in your yard, hosing down the remains of what was once your home. It’s everyone’s nightmare.
Appliances can catch fire for a number of reasons. Here is a partial list:
*Animals. Pet owners need to be aware refrigerators can be a dust and hair magnet. Over time the condenser coils underneath the fridge can suffer a build-up of animal hair. If that hair is not routinely brushed or vacuumed out your fridge can’t ventilate heat properly, causing it to run hot. Rodents love to hide beneath fridges, dishwashers and ranges, often burrowing in appliance insulation, chewing wiring, even getting lodged in fan blades. Exposed wiring can cause electrical shorts and consequential fire. Inspect your home for signs of mice or rats and take proper steps to eliminate them. Remember, if they’re crawling around underneath the dishwasher or range, they’re also scurrying around on top of your countertops in the dead of night.
*Improper Installation. Some appliances have not been installed properly. Range power cords may be attached too loosely to the range terminal block, causing voltage to arc when the range is in use. Dishwasher electrical connections may be loose. Dryer vent hoses may not be up to code, causing lint to be trapped in the hose. A factory-trained technician can inspect your appliance for proper installation and make vital corrections if needed.
*Misuse. Leaving a range unattended while it is cooking or in a self-clean. Going to bed with the dishwasher running. Throwing something flammable in the microwave. Failing to clean grease filters in the range hood. Failure to clean dryer vents.
*Manufacturing Defects. More than 7 million dishwasher units have been involved in recalls over the past five years because of fire, including 2.5 million GE dishwashers in May 2007. There are known safety issues with some appliances and homeowners are often unaware they may have a potential fire hazard in the house. Consumers need to protect themselves. Call Fred’s Appliance to schedule a routine checkup of your appliances, along with an analysis of what you own to make sure all factory-issued recalls have been performed.
*Lack of Routine Maintenance. Like anything mechanical, appliances require routine maintenance to function at peak performance. Dishwasher sumps need to be cleaned out. Refrigerator coils, filters, gaskets and safety checks need to be dealt with. Range electrical wiring checked. Washers and dryers evaluated. A trained technician can inspect your appliances and get them back in safe, premium working order.